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Top 6 features of performance management software

A manager performing an appraisal using perfor tablet.

What fea­tures should you expect to find in pur­pose-built per­for­mance man­age­ment software?

How rel­e­vant is tech­nol­o­gy to the smooth run­ning of a mod­ern busi­ness? Do you real­ly need soft­ware in order to be pro­duc­tive and suc­cess­ful? The fact of the mat­ter is: soft­ware is an incred­i­ble invest­ment that can give your organ­i­sa­tion a com­pet­i­tive edge. It can improve employ­ee engage­ment, facil­i­tate com­mu­ni­ca­tion and help you revi­talise your per­for­mance review process.

If you’re already sold on the many ben­e­fits and prepar­ing a busi­ness case for per­for­mance appraisal soft­ware, you will need to know what to look for before mak­ing your pur­chase. Doing your research is crit­i­cal, as not all soft­ware is cre­at­ed equal.

Below are the key fea­tures to look out for when pick­ing out your per­for­mance man­age­ment software.

  1. Straight­for­ward and sim­ple to use

  2. Abil­i­ty to work across devices

  3. Robust data protection

  4. A cul­ture that aligns with your company’s

  5. The sup­pli­ers are experts in their field

  6. Flex­i­bil­i­ty and Scalability.

Now let’s take a clos­er look at each of these fea­tures and how they can ben­e­fit your business.

Straight­for­ward and sim­ple to use

Per­for­mance man­age­ment should be sim­ple and straight­for­ward, so the same is true of per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware. The pack­age should be stream­lined and intu­itive, as rec­om­mend­ed in the 2014 eRe­ward per­for­mance man­age­ment sur­vey. Such sim­plic­i­ty results in few­er delays, decreased human error and improved productivity.

Although you might want soft­ware with all the bells and whis­tles when you’re search­ing for a pack­age, remem­ber that less is more. Try to find soft­ware with a mod­est num­ber of effec­tive fea­tures that will sup­port your per­for­mance man­age­ment process. This will be less dis­tract­ing for your employ­ees and will help them focus on what they real­ly want to achieve. A great test for deter­min­ing whether or not a giv­en soft­ware pack­age is user-friend­­ly and intu­itive is the amount of train­ing required. The ide­al soft­ware will be so easy to use that you won’t need to invest any time into train­ing at all.

Abil­i­ty to work across devices

More and more busi­ness­es are mak­ing use of tablets and smart­phones for a vari­ety of pur­pos­es. The days of rely­ing sole­ly on PCs or lap­tops are over. As such, you will want soft­ware that func­tions prop­er­ly across a range of dif­fer­ent devices. The soft­ware should be mobile respon­sive, mean­ing it adjusts auto­mat­i­cal­ly to the device and screen size. Such adapt­abil­i­ty will decrease employ­ee frus­tra­tion, while the increased flex­i­bil­i­ty means your employ­ees can work from any­where and access crit­i­cal infor­ma­tion at any time.

Robust data protection

As men­tioned above, soft­ware acces­si­bil­i­ty is a key fea­ture, which means your per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware should be cloud-based. This does present secu­ri­ty ques­tions which you should con­sid­er before com­mit­ting to a par­tic­u­lar pack­age. When you’re in talks with your soft­ware provider, find out who hosts their soft­ware and data and where it is host­ed. Do they use a rep­utable host­ing com­pa­ny such as Ama­zon Web Ser­vices, Rack­space or Microsoft Azure? Are they ISO 27001 data secu­ri­ty cer­ti­fied? Be sure to ask these ques­tions for your peace of mind. You don’t want to risk los­ing or expos­ing crit­i­cal, con­fi­den­tial busi­ness information.

A cul­ture that aligns with your company’s

Per­for­mance man­age­ment is a chang­ing field. It’s con­stant­ly evolv­ing and shift­ing, depend­ing on recent stud­ies on what affects moti­va­tion and behav­iour. As such, there are a vari­ety of soft­ware com­pa­nies out there, all of which have dif­fer­ent per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tems and approach­es. Some strong­ly adhere to mod­ern per­for­mance man­age­ment trends, while oth­ers are more tra­di­tion­al in their outlook.

It is crit­i­cal that you find a per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem that sup­ports your com­pa­ny cul­ture and val­ues. At Clear Review, we are pro­po­nents of con­tin­u­ous per­for­mance man­age­ment. We believe that employ­ees need and deserve reg­u­lar per­for­mance dis­cus­sions. For this rea­son, our soft­ware is cen­tred around fre­quent, qual­i­ta­tive feed­back and dis­cus­sion, while allow­ing organ­i­sa­tions to mea­sure per­for­mance where necessary.

The sup­pli­ers are experts in their field

When you buy soft­ware, you’re not just buy­ing the pack­age itself. You’re invest­ing in the team that pro­vides it, so it’s impor­tant that you get to know your soft­ware provider, what they stand for, how qual­i­fied they are and what they can do for you. Is their cus­tomer ser­vice sup­port based in your coun­try, or is it over­seas? Does the sup­pli­er under­stand per­for­mance man­age­ment best prac­tice? Will they be on hand to help you to imple­ment the per­for­mance review sys­tem?

Flex­i­bil­i­ty and scalability

The best per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware sys­tems can be adapt­ed to meet your organ­i­sa­tion’s spe­cif­ic needs. It accom­mo­dates all the per­for­mance man­age­ment process­es you need to mon­i­tor and eval­u­ate now and is flex­i­ble enough to pro­vide the sup­port required as your busi­ness grows or changes. Can the soft­ware sup­port a wide range of review cycles and tim­ings? Can you cus­tomise ques­tions to elic­it the feed­back you need from employ­ees? Does it offer a goal-set­ting sys­tem that aligns with organ­i­sa­tion­al processes?

Research ques­tions to ask your soft­ware provider and devel­op a rap­port with them before buy­ing a new per­for­mance man­age­ment system.

Ben­e­fits of imple­ment­ing employ­ee per­for­mance man­age­ment software

With so many con­flict­ing demands on your busi­ness bud­get, why should you invest in per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware?

The best per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tems offer numer­ous benefits:

  • More effi­cient — good soft­ware stream­lines the per­for­mance man­age­ment process and reduces the time spent on labo­ri­ous paperwork.

  • Retain valu­able employ­ees — by pro­vid­ing help­ful employ­ee feed­back, recog­nis­ing excel­lent per­for­mance and offer­ing time­ly support. 

  • Flex­i­bil­i­ty and effec­tive goal man­age­ment — soft­ware that sup­ports con­tin­u­ous per­for­mance man­age­ment, rather than annu­al per­for­mance reviews only, allows goals to be con­stant­ly reviewed and adapt­ed to keep them relevant.

  • Improved com­mu­ni­ca­tion — cloud-based sys­tems work across devices, giv­ing every­one access to the most up-to-date infor­ma­tion. Real-time feed­back allows indi­vid­u­als to act on rec­om­men­da­tions immediately.

  • Bet­ter per­son­al devel­op­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties — cre­at­ing per­son­al devel­op­ment plans (PDPs) and mon­i­tor­ing progress is key to achiev­ing opti­mum employ­ee engage­ment, per­for­mance and loy­al­ty. Effec­tive tal­ent man­age­ment also helps to boost employ­ee reten­tion levels.

What next?

  • Learn more about per­for­mance man­age­ment — check out our resource library. It’s full of eBooks, videos, case stud­ies and webi­na­rs that will help you to under­stand more about the per­for­mance man­age­ment process and how the right soft­ware can help to trans­form your business.

  • See Clear Review soft­ware in action — book a demo and let us show you how our soft­ware can improve employ­ee pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, engage­ment and busi­ness performance. 

Clear Review helps com­pa­nies of all sizes improve indi­vid­ual and com­pa­ny per­for­mance with our per­for­mance review soft­ware. To find out how we can help you, book a free per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware demo, or con­tact our team for a friend­ly dis­cus­sion on +44 (0)20 3637 4489.